Female bodybuilding during pregnancy is very possible, it may not be the most popular form of exercise for pregnant women, but it is effective if done correctly. When you are pregnant, you may notice many changes to your body. This is undoubtedly a period of your life where your mental, emotional and physical functions are put to the test.

Many women when pregnant are too tired with all hormones and the changes in their body to work out others continue going to the gym daily to stay toned. Despite your desire and motivation, you must listen to your body at this time and not push yourself to far in your Workout routine.

Attending classes in the gym for pregnant women or hiring a personal trainer or sports coach to work with you and keep you safe during the process is wise. Whether you are muscle building, powerlifting, weightlifting or stretching. Regular physical workouts can be an excellent way to raise your energy levels, keep fit and balance your hormones. Let’s take a look at how to do body building while pregnant. Here are our tips.

Pregnancy And Bodybuilding: Listening To Your Body

Whatever sport you decide to practice while pregnant, listening to your body is essential. But bodybuilding, more than any other sport, requires more thought. Because as a female bodybuilder you will tend to use equipment like the barbell, dumbbell, treadmills, during your bodybuilding fitness workout routines. The female body builder has to accept that some of the workouts will change when pregnant. Also, the goal of building muscle mass may have to change too.

No matter how you feel when you are in the gym, you have to remember that you are in effect a mother responsible for life inside of you. So if you want to lift a very heavy weight that isn’t recommended you should think about that because overexertion can out you and the baby at risk. This is not meant to demotivate you, just to remind you that when you face a dumbbell, a drawbar or elliptical trainer that you have to consider your goals. Of course the first is the baby, and next, it may be keeping up the practice of working out without the push of bulking your muscles or perhaps you don’t want to gain weight (extra weight of course). You just need to learn how to listen to your body, give it the break it deserves, when you are at the gym or when you are following a weight training program.

Whether skipping rope, deadlifts, bodybuilding at home or strength training, everything is potentially feasible. As long as you remember to listen to your body. If you are a regular to the gym, you may find you want to push your muscle groups as you did before you were pregnant, but that is not wise. Your body will define your physical condition, your recovery time, and all the exercises will not necessarily be ideal for you.

However, although it may seem like a disadvantage to become a bodybuilder while pregnant, due to having to limit yourself drastically. Female bodybuilders wanting to build and tone their body while pregnant will find it is the perfect time to work out. In fact, the endorphins produced when you exercise will give you more endurance, strength, and tolerance during your pregnancy, for childbirth, and afterwards, it may help you regain your lean stature.

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Bodybuilding: How To Adapt When You Are Pregnant

Being pregnant is a truly special time, and will allow us to become highly aware of our bodies. These tips may be useful for anyone who wants to build muscle during pregnancy. Indeed, each series, each exercise, is different from the others and they target different areas of the body.

For example, be sure to avoid the Vasalva manoeuvre, which is the act of holding your breath while performing weight training exercises. This increases abdominal pressure and can create hypotension, but also blood pressure.

All of this can be learnt by hiring a personal trainer to work with you in the weight room. Thanks to sports trainers, you can find a way to work out in the gym and continue lifting weights and gaining muscle. While pregnant, it is advisable to inquire about which exercise works which muscles and avoid stressing the core muscles.

Stretching is a great idea when you are pregnant, as stretching allows us to warm up effectively at the beginning of the session, and to make our muscles more relaxed at the end. Knowing however that no matter what workout you get used to, that you will need to keep adapting it as you get close to your due date is important. At the later stage of your pregnancy, the weights will have to become lighter (no more than 2.5kg).

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Modify Your Bodybuilding Training During Your Pregnancy

An important part of bodybuilding is having goals so that you know what you are aiming to achieve.  Before you are pregnant, you may drink whey protein shakes have the goal to gain muscles, achieve fat loss, or just get fit. But being pregnant is very different, you will need to balance your nutrition and eat in a different way to when you are not pregnant. You will be able to do most workouts, but some parts of the routine may be best avoided.

Deadlifts with heavyweights, for example, may not be the best exercise for a pregnant woman. Nor should you for obvious reasons, try to get a six pack like a fitness model, maintain a bikini body for the next bikini competition or practice the workout of an athlete so forget pumping iron that stresses your body unnecessarily.

Your goals when pregnant might be to stay fit, to keep up with a fitness regimen or to activate endorphins. Making your body a great place to be for both you and the baby.

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Watch free online videos, attend group fitness classes. Photo Source: Unsplash

When Should I Stop The Bodybuilding?

Being pregnant is a very special moment in a woman's life, but also in the way she sees her body. The more time that passes is, the more that we have to adapt our health and fitness, this can fall into three periods:

How To Build Muscle In The First Quarter

The first trimester is where you will find yourself the fittest, the physical changes to your body will also be minimal. While you should be careful, this is a time that you can take the opportunity to set goals that are a little more ambitious. Indeed, do not stay sedentary, and try to gently tone your body while you still can. Even weight lifting can be ok in moderation, and you can continue your usual training. But just make sure to reduce the intensity and pay attention to your technique. You want to do slow weight movements, gently lifted loads.

In The Second Quarter

When in the second trimester, our body is beginning to change, like in the first quarter, avoid overloading your joints. The same goes for weights and heavy loads, lifting any weight will be much better to do in a seated position.

In The Third Quarter

The third quarter is the most critical quarter in terms of sports and bodybuilding. For those who have a strong motivation for female fitness, you can still go to the gym, but be sure to do everything gently, slowly and with low intensity.

Stretching, dumbbells, rowing, squatting, everything must be done in small amounts without straining or pushing. Be sure to use support as you need it such as sitting or holding on to the bars. The idea is not so much to tone at this point but to keep your flow in the gym and show that you still have some motivation and autonomy over your body.

How to be a muscular woman
The female bodybuilders guide for beginners. Photo Source: Unsplash

Bodybuilding Pregnant Women: Consult A Specialist

Of course, if bodybuilding and pregnancy are practised, it is important at all stages to seek the advice of a specialist and have regular physicals to check that you are not pushing yourself too far. You should do this whether you have a doubt or not, especially if this is your first child. You need the support and should seek the expertise of an expert in pregnancy to advise you.

Thus, thanks to the advice of experts you will find it safer to lift dumbbells, do a bench presses or perform a cardio session. As previously said you need to listen to your body and balance this with the advice given by professionals. Each specialist will tell you how to achieve your goals safely. Such as avoiding the treadmill on its fastest setting or high-intensity cardio (HIT) for example!

Pregnancy is an important milestone in the life of a woman, but also of a sportswoman. Because to balance bodybuilding and maternity is not always easy. Yet it is possible if you are willing to create this balance. By adapting, listening to your body, getting specialist advice, you can start or continue bodybuilding safely, making your pregnancy even more beautiful. Happy motherhood!

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